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Chapter 4: Mission Failed

by SalisRuinen

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

Lieutenant Grak and his platoon were sent to Deckstoru for one thing and one thing only – to capture a person targeted by their organization.

They hadn’t even given them the name of the target.

Just a description and a device to locate her.

Orders were orders however and they had to be executed.

While Grak had been informed the target was a deviant, he was assured that she would have no memory of who she is and would not be able to use her abilities to their full extent.

But no one had told him she also possessed a superstrength deva that could not be neutralized by standard deva neutralization cuffs.

He made that discovery himself when the girl he had captured broke her cuffs and collar a little bit after their chat aboard the triple-rotor helicopter used to transport the platoon.

Grak had seen her looking desperate when they brought her inside the helicopter and he had seen her looking angry while he talked with her.

Now, however, she just looked dead serious, almost as if she was possessed.

His soldiers were the first who fell victim to her rampage, very soon it becoming clear their lieutenant would have to intervene.

Their orders were to take her alive at all costs and the members of his platoon were not going to be able to subdue her without damaging their craft considerably.

Just as he was about to use his deva a loud crack of thunder was heard very close to the helicopter, the next thing that happened being that a huge lightning bolt pierced through the transport for Grak and his platoon.

It nearly cut the craft in half, the lieutenant enveloping his entire body in chains in order to protect himself from the blinding light of the bolt, some of the soldiers not being able to respond fast enough and being blinded.

That bolt had come out of nowhere and its size and duration were far from normal.

A deviant was responsible. Moreover, it was deviant whose abilities were not restrained by a chip.

Could it be the two brats from earlier?

If it was them and if somehow both had survived and miraculously developed the ability to use the full extent of their devas, most likely one of them was going to cause a distraction while the other got the girl away from the platoon.

Grak’s suspicions were confirmed in a matter of seconds as explosions of masses of bright red fireworks enveloped the inside of the helicopter while a smaller bolt separated itself from the big one before it disappeared, going straight for the

white-haired brat.

The lieutenant sent his chains forward to catch her first but the bolt teleported itself closer to the target with great speed and managed to take her away.

‘-At least this mission finally got fun.’

The transport started breaking apart while descending fast, everyone inside it getting out, the platoon’s leader being happy he had trained his men well enough so they could use their anti-deva weapons for defense as well as offense, as they used the elemental shots coming from those weapons to form platforms which made their landing a lot smoother.

Grak himself saw the construction site of a tall building below him and shot a number of chains with spikes at the end from his left wrist, piercing one of the highest beams, then increasing the length of his chains to reach the ground safely, absorbing all the chains inside his arm when he was done, his men having already gathered around him.

All of them watched as their helicopter crashed amidst the construction site area and blew up, being able to partially see the girl and the two boys who had tried to help her earlier through the smoke.

(The sergeant) ‘-I guess we’ll be going back to the teleporter on foot.’

(Grak) ‘-Is that a problem?’

(The sergeant) ‘-It will be harder to move through the streets while carrying the target.’

(The second lieutenant) ‘-First we have to recapture her.’

(Grak) ‘- And don’t forget our orders, gentlemen. Command wants her alive at all costs.’

(The sergeant) ‘-What about the two who are with her?’

(The corporal) ‘-Wait a minute … are they … look at that! Look at them! They have multiple burn marks and hemorrhages!’

(The second lieutenant) ‘-So they forced their devas beyond the limit of their chips?!’

(Soldier 1) ‘-That explains why their attacks were so powerful compared to earlier. They probably released more power in the moment of our multibarrage at the square and evaded all the attacks with superfast teleportation. Crazy bastards…’

(Grak) ‘-Those two seem to have some skill and are clearly insane. I’ll handle them.

You capture the girl.

The ones with static anti-deva weapons, provide cover for the rest as you can close the distance between you and her.

Then the ones with active anti-deva weapons, unleash a barrage against her.

Just enough to wound her and possibly make her lose consciousness.

I’ll tie her with enough of my chains when we’re done so she won’t be able to escape again.’

(All the members of the platoon) ‘-Yes, sir!!!’

The survivors of the platoon lunged at the girl while the boys went for Grak even before he could make his move.

It seemed they had the same idea as him.

The two unleashed a combined wave of huge amounts of bright red firework explosions and lightning bolts, clearly aiming to distract him while one of them teleported behind his back.

The more they used the full power of their devas, the more it would drain their strength until they’d eventually collapse.

They definitely realized that so they were probably going to try and end the fight as quickly as possible but the chainman was not about to just let them do that.

This time he shot out multiple chains from his ankles, the ones coming out of his right ankle ending with blades and the ones coming out of the left one – with scythes, using them to cut through the enemy attack, the spiky-haired brat having teleported behind him while he had done that.

He was not aware of the full extent of Grak’s abilities, however, and due to the implants in his body he was not handicapped by the chip limit on his deva like his enemies.

He could keep going at this for much longer than them – one of the many advantages he had over the duo in their fight.

Chains that ended with maces came out of his right wrist, swinging with his right arm so he could smash his opponent aside, the golden-haired one coming right above him with a ready double explosive fist, a number of chains ending with spikes coming out of Grak’s left wrist then to stop him from completing his attack.

The two had now been pushed back, by the looks of it neither one having noticed the lieutenant had sent the chains coming out of his ankles underground, currently extending their length so they could reach under the brats’ feet for a surprise attack.

(Grak) ‘-That one should not have been in this city long. What’s she to you that you would risk your bodies crumbling to dust to help her?’

(Hikaru) ‘-A fellow deviant chased by a couple of bastards that opened fire on innocent people back at that square. People from our city.’

(Grak) ‘-None of them appeared to be deviants. I get why you would care about her to a certain extent but those ordinari?’

(Seiren) ‘-Says the guy leading a platoon of ordinari.’

(Grak) ‘-I’m not from around here so the rules that apply to you don’t apply to me.’

(Hikaru) ‘-Does that include the neutralized effects of your chip?’

(Grak) ‘-Among other things.’

He shot out the chains ending with blades from the ground under the spiky-haired one and the chains ending with scythes from the ground under the golden-haired one’s feet.

The boy with the lightning deva slammed his foot against the ground and a huge mass of lightning bolts formed around him to push back the chains aimed for him, his counterpart using a number of thin pillars of bright red fireworks to neutralize the chains Grak was planning to use to finish him.

By then the lieutenant had sent his mace-chains to the one and his spike-chains to the other, covered by the smoke that had risen from them blocking his attacks.

Their response time was not that fast anymore with the amount of fatigue they were dealing with. One direct hit was all the chainman needed.

He was unable to take advantage of this opportunity however because suddenly a mass of ice spikes and blades came from the ground under him. And it came at him with remarkable speed.

He jumped up and pulled the chains meant to attack the boys back to his body so he could use them for defense, his reaction being a tad too slow which allowed a couple of the ice spikes and blades to cut and pierce him.

The wounds were shallow but he didn’t expect he would even get wounded during the execution of this mission.

Nor did he expect his platoon to be defeated but as he looked around the construction site area, he saw most of his men were crushed in the ground with a number of wounds, their anti-deva arsenal being destroyed.

Who was responsible for this?!

The same person responsible for that mass of ice spikes and blades appearing out of nowhere.

The white-haired brat Grak was sent to capture.

His gaze finally focused on her as she returned her attention to the surviving soldiers, her allies not having wasted the opportunity she had given them by surprising the chainman.

Each one launched a barrage of lightning and explosive shots while closing in on him, not realizing he still had a number of chains planted underground, which allowed him to quickly increase their numbers and shape them into masses that came out all around him, forming a sphere to protect him from the barrage.

He sent his mace-chains and spike-chains through the sphere to counterattack, by the time Grak had removed the protective sphere, his opponents being wounded once again by his attack and slammed in the ground.

Also his platoon had now been completely defeated, the unassuming child responsible stepping towards him as the energy arsenal of his men blew up in pale green explosions behind her.

He may not have liked his men all that much but they were a good, capable and loyal group.

And they had got much more than they had bargained for on this mission.

The lieutenant was not the vengeful type but he could release more of his power in a fit just this once.

It was about time he took his prey seriously.

He wrapped his left wrist chains around the boys and threw them at the white-haired brat while using his right wrist chains to wrap them around her during her moment of surprise, immediately starting to pull his target closer.

(Grak) ‘-No one told me the target was a deviant with multiple devas! And judging by the scope of those ice attacks … you don’t have a chip in you, do you?’

(Yuki) ‘-I don’t know and don’t care! I only care about dealing with you!!’

(Grak) ‘-That won’t go the way you’re thinking, darling. You’re not the only chipless deviant around here. The difference between me and you is …’

He couldn’t finish his sentence because an orb of bright red fireworks was thrown at him, cut in half easily by one of his right ankle chains.

The two halves suddenly expanded greatly in size and enveloped him in a huge explosion, the effect of which was blocked by another chain-sphere, a wide-range roar of lightning bolts reaching Grak after that, thinking the sphere would protect him.

That roar suddenly broke into hundreds of thin lightning needles, several of which went through the sphere, the chainman absorbing all of the chains inside his body to use them as a shield against the needles.

That was a close call, though. The second one since the start of this fight.

Taking the girl captive without at least crippling her was impossible at this point.

If he cut off an arm or a leg, it wouldn’t be fatal.

She just needed to be taken to the teleporter fast enough so the medics back at the base could patch her up.

The lieutenant sent the maximal number of chains from both his wrists now, the golden-haired brat attempting to block them with many explosions.

Some chains managed to go past the explosions while a second wave of attacks was sent by his other enemies – tens of lightning drills and ice stakes.

The drills electrocuted the remaining wrist chains and managed to halt their advance, the stakes moving forward but they broke into pieces before they could reach their target.

The girl had become too confident.

Using one’s deva without a proper understanding of it could only get you so far.

Moreover, to use a static deva, which is much better for defense, to attack another deviant with a static deva was just plain stupid.

Waves of ice started to form from the pieces of the stakes that had fallen to the ground, Grak jumping back but his arms were still encased by one of the ice waves.

So she was bluffing when her stakes had broken down earlier.

That ice was not going to hold him back for long, though, and he still had his legs, shooting blade-chains and scythe-chains from them, blocked by a huge ice wall before they could reach the trio, who were teleported in front of him by a lightning bolt.

He pulled the ankle-chains back to his body with great speed to cut his enemies from behind, the golden-haired one pushing them back with mini-bright red firework explosions while lightning spears were sent to his arms by the spiky-haired one just as he had released them from the ice.

Nice try but too slow.

The mace-chains and spike-chains ripped the spears apart as the lieutenant received a mighty head-butt from the girl.

She’d caught him off-guard enough times – he had covered his head with chains to counter that attack, being confused by her decisive smile.

When he realized what was happening, it was already too late.

The white-haired one had smashed her knee in his chest, having formed an ice spike over the knee, which pierced Grak very deep.

She detached the ice spike from her knee and spread her arms, increasing the spike’s size considerably, reaching at least 15 meters in height, the chainman not only being pierced but starting to freeze now.

Damn brats. They had made him use all his chains for offense and defense simultaneously, not leaving any to protect his torso while he was being distracted by the head-butt.

Good strategy. Their success might have even been guaranteed if they could count better.

They ought to have figured out by that point that each of his extremities that could actively move independently from the others could be used to create chains of a specific type so they had found a way to deal with the chains of all four extremities.

He had one more kept in reserve – his tongue.

He transformed it in a thick chain with multiple spikes on it and a spear tip at the end and shot it out of his mouth right at the white-haired girl.

The two boys hit him with a fist enveloped in their devas just then, but the chain still reached who it was aimed for.

The lieutenant could no longer complete the mission but at least he had got revenge for his men by killing the one who beat them and was responsible for his demise.

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Tue May 24, 2022 12:31 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...

Hi there!

I'm trying to catch back up on my reviewing so hoping to make my way through a few of these chapters today. It's been a while since I've read these but I think I remember the characters well enough to pick up straight where I left off. As a little tip, I sometimes find it helps to put a short recap at the beginning of each chapter to let people know what's already happened. In this case it's more because I've been so delayed in reading but it can help when people take a break between reading chapters (or if someone joins the story mid way through).

With that, onto the review!

I like how we have a different POV in this chapter, it really helps to build up the surrounding world and what's going on outside of the immediate sphere of our three main characters.

There's a lot of very short sharp paragraphs at the start of this chapter which conveys a pace that seems faster than what is actually happening. Perhaps combine some of these, to play with the flow a little?
For example

It nearly cut the craft in half, the lieutenant enveloping his entire body in chains in order to protect himself from the blinding light of the bolt, some of the soldiers not being able to respond fast enough and being blinded.

This is a really powerful part of the chapter and suits being so short but because all the paragraphs are short around it we kind of lose the emphasis here and it doesn't seem as important.

‘-At least this mission finally got fun.’

Is this said by Grak? It felt a little off because he's just been complaining about how difficult this has been so far.

I like the action in the rest of the chapter - it's clearly a strength of yours and I look forward to reading more of it! I think it would be helpful to have more of how your characters react in the fight to break it up a bit, but that might be something that comes through more strongly when writing from a different point of view. I almost felt sympathy for Grak here, so I'll be glad to get back to the other characters!


SalisRuinen says...

Thank you for the review!
You can review chapters at your own pace, that's OK. And even if you don't write a review, it's still fine. As long as you've read a chapter and it's made you feel anything, even if something negative, I'll be happy with that. Just so long as I know I move people somehow.
I've been getting mixed reactions about putting recaps at the beginning of chapters, but ultimately decided to keep them and will make sure to add one for each chapter when I come back to edit the earlier ones.
Reading the chapter again, you make a good point about the short paragraphs at the beginning and I'll be sure to fix that.
About Grak's comment, he does say that indeed. Up until that point he's complaining about how boring the mission is because there's nothing for him to do in it and he would like to see some action. I probably should've cleared that up better, so I'll fix that as well.
The reason for using Grak's point of view is precisely to make the reader feel sympathy for him and see things from his perspective to further the idea that my characters are not black and white only. And I'm glad you enjoyed the action part as there will be a whole lot more of that in the future!

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Mon Feb 21, 2022 8:55 am
ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...

Hey! Forever here with a review!!

Oh this was a very thrilling chapter filled with a very good spirit of adventure! I really liked how you managed to maintain an excellent pace throughout the chapter. Anyway, let's get into the review!

First of all, I really wasn't expecting this. I thought that the helicopter is just going to fly away taking Iceflame or somehow IceFlame is going to escape a bit later and meet with these two. However, seems like some on spot actions took place. That was quite interesting to read. I am not very sure on how Iceflame learnt to use her devas and I am not even sure of the origin of devas but something must have happened in between. I don't think her memory came back to her but hm... she seems to be kind of aware of the powers or the devas within her. That is something which I would like to ponder on. How does this thing really work?

Anyway, it's pretty fortunate that Grak couldn't really kidnap her. I do get some ideas about why IceFlame was being kidnapped. Because of her powers? She seems to very very powerful. I am not very sure on how to interpret the term 'multi devas' but I think it referred to the presence of more than one devas in a deviant. Hm.. in that, she is definitely superior to everyone present there.

Another thing, another real concern of mine. What were the ordinaris doing when all these fights were going on? It's strange that we didn't have any ordinari scene in this part because if I am not very wrong, all these fights were going on in some area which was definitely under the control of the ordinaris. Don't tell me that they were being mere spectators and were doing pretty much nothing. That's going to be stranger. Maybe they were there but could not interfere with the fight because the levels at which the devas were being used were not in their control. Hm...interesting!

Ah indeed. The mission badly failed. I don't know for whom I should actually feel sorry. Like no one seems to be villainous here. If we talk about Grak, he really has nothing to do in this matter. He has been assigned a task and though not very sure, I am afraid that if he wouldn't do that, his superiors would kill him or do something bad to him. On the other hand, Seiren and Hikaru too seems to be innocent. They are just fighting for a fellow deviant. And Iceflame of course, was fighting for herself and the other two. There's no one we can really blame here...

And now the deaths. The lieutenant perhaps died in doing his service, which is pretty sad. But again, I do indeed have to confess that I didn't get that emotion which one should get from a person's death. Maybe because of the fact that we don't know a lot of things about him. And then comes Iceflame. I don't believe she is dead. Well, at least to me it doesn't seem so. But if she is indeed dead, I wonder what is going to happen.*sigh*

One thing which I noticed is the long sentences. Using so long sentences actually bores the readers. Using short sentences is better to keep the reader reading. When one sees very long sentences, what they do is just glance over the sentences without reading them fully. So that's one thing which you need to work on. Cut your sentences into smaller bits.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the chapter. I really like how your chapters end with some sort of conclusion but something very contradictory to the conclusion happens in the next chapter.

Keep Writing!!


SalisRuinen says...

Thank you for the review!
Yuki was told earlier by Hiikaru that she has a superstrength and superspeed deva which she had only used by instinct up to the point of the attack on the square. Calling on her powers didn't work when the soldiers kidnapped her because only her life was endangered and after meeting Hikaru and Seiren, she had started to care about them as well. When she was on the helicopter later, she used her superstrength to break her cuffs and collar, because she was driven by anger over the supposed death of her only friends. She discovered her ice deva when she saw those two were cornered by Grak and she was still dealing with his platoon, so was not able to go and help them directly.
In short, she doesn't have too much of an incentive to fight for just her sake and is generally not violent, but if anyone she cares about is exposed to danger, she'll unleash her full might. The more people there are she cares about and the more she cares for them, the stronger she'll become.
About the term 'multiple deva', that does indeed mean that one possesses more than one deva.
As was mentioned, the helicopter was brought down over a construction site, which is another reason why Hikaru and Seiren didn't attack sooner %u2013 so they could face the enemy somewhere with no civilians in the way, so there were no ordinari exposed to direct danger here. There were still witnesses, of course, and as for the police, their attention is currently split between providing security for the ongoing concert back at the stadium and inspecting the situation at the square, so they haven't got to where the three main characters are yet.
About Grak, it was never my intention to make the reader care for him as he's the first villain the main trio faces and will naturally not have much time of focus. I wanted to have the events in this chapter take place from his perspective because in fights like the one he had with Yuki, Hikaru and Seiren, the heroes are pressured by the villain again and again until they suddenly turn things around and I think we've seen enough instances of that to have the first major fight in my story be described in the same way. Rather, I wanted to show his assessment of Hikaru, Seiren and then Yuki's performance and how he realizes little by little how powerful and skillful they are. Also, Grak's not dead yet. He's badly wounded but won't die immediately just because of that.
Sorry about the long sentences! I've had this issue for a while and am still working on it. I'll be sure to correct errors like this in the future.

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Sat Feb 19, 2022 11:34 am
VengefulReaper wrote a review...

Hi, just here to leave a quick review.

So a very action-packed chapter to pick up from the last chapter. I absolutely love the chain deva and the fact that he can have weapons at the end of it like maces or spears. And they're not dead! That explains the rather abrupt death in the last chapter.

I also like the idea of the two boys overcharging their devas to fry their inhibitor chips and unleash their power. I also like that your deva system has drawbacks. Even something as simple as stamina problems can really help give the scene some tension as they run out of stamina.

As for the way you've described the action sequence. It was very well done. I could follow what was happening and the positioning of each combatant but one thing I would suggest is to add some description to the environment they're in. The craft crashed at a construction site and Grak uses his chains to throw some beams at them. Or use it as cover? Or perhaps one of the boys uses some steel beams as conductors for his lightning to travel longer distances. It adds a sense of grounding to the sequence and can also provide additional hazards combatants need to watch out for.

Speaking of Grak, you built him up to be very intimidating and he also has that powerful, overpowering feel to him when he's fighting the boys. As I said, his chain ability is now my favorite and the idea to shoot a chain out of his tongue is really creative. I wonder how you'd take that man prisoner?

As for the format of your chapter. A lot of the descriptions and thrid person narrations you can put in paragraphs instead of one-liners. Then you can separate the descriptions with dialogue. But that's just up to my personal preference.

Speaking of dialogue, things like "Nice try, but too slow" or "Good strategy" work better as thoughts or speech. Not necessarily in third-person narration. So consider putting that as dialogue instead.

Last but not least. I love how you are so creative with how every deviant uses their deva. Whether that is for offense or defense. I always love to see creative uses of simple powers. Hopefully, Yuki will learn to use her ice powers in different ways (Ice armor, perhaps?). And it seems Grak thinks he's killed Yuki at the end, which will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Grak comes across as a hired mercenary kind of guy. No questions asked; just doing his job. Which I like as there is potential for growth there.

Overall, a good chapter to follow up from the last one, and I'm intrigued as to where things go and what happens to Yuki. Feel free to tag me when you post next as I am a forgetful man (unfortunately).

As always, thanks for the read and keep writing!
The Reaper sends his regards...

SalisRuinen says...

Thanks for the review!
Some of the chapters are going to be very action-heavy, even more than this one, because the clashes between deviants will be one of the main focuses of my story. I hope that won't be a problem.
About Hikaru and Seiren's chips, they didn't actually fry them when they overused their abilities. The chips cause damage to the bodies of those who exceed their deva limit, so the two used more of their powers than normal knowing what the consequences will be.
Thank you very much for the suggestion about making better use of the environment! Truth is, it had actually slipped my mind they were fighting on a construction site! Originally the whole fight sequence took place on the square where the soldiers first attacked and while focusing on the combatans, I forgot their battlefield had changed. I'll be sure to pay more attention to such things in the future.
About the format of the chapter, my main idea is to turn this into a light novel series and since there are rarely any paragraphs there and only one-liners, I applied the same structure. I actually should be separating the text even further but just feel like it will be too much, so will keep it at this level for now. I hope that won't make things confusing or hard to follow.
You're right about writing Grak's thoughts as well, so thanks for pointing that out!
Sorry about not tagging you. I had promised someone else to tag them as well but I had forgot about that until I saw your review! I guess I've just been forgetful these days. I'll make up for that from now on.

So verily with the hardship, there is a relief, verily with the hardship, there is a relief.
— Quran Ch 94:5-6